Delta ID in talks with four firms for use of ActiveIRIS in its devices

The availability of iris integrated mobile device could become a turning point in the scaling up of Aadhaar use across many more applications in India


New Delhi: Capitalizing on the nod from the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) for its iris scan software, Delta ID is in talks with four other companies for use of ActiveIRIS technology in its devices.

Samsung also uses this software in its smartphones.

After the successful Performance Test results, conducted by standardization, testing and quality certification (STQC), in collaboration with C-DAC (Centre for Development of Advanced Computing), a premier R&D organization of the department of electronics and information technology, and UIDAI; multiple Original Design Manufacturers (ODM) and Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) are working with Delta ID to integrate this technology in their mobile devices.

“This success is very important for Delta ID’s business both in India and globally, since India is one of the most interesting mobile markets for many of our global OEM customers. This Performance Test result gives our customers—the OEMs and ODMs making Aadhaar-enabled mobile devices for India, the confidence that by integrating our ActiveIRIS technology they have a path to have their devices certified for use with Aadhaar,” said Salil Prabhakar, president and chief executive officer of Delta ID Inc, in an interview.

This technology is already being used in smartphones for Aadhaar authentication, wherein the iris capture happens on mobile device and authentication occurs remotely and to unlock passwords for applications wherein iris capture and authentication are carried out locally, on the device.

Other than mobile phones, the application of this technology has expanded, now used in smart autos (for driver identification and monitoring) and smart locks (for security of homes).

“The ActiveIRIS software is already available to our licensees. Samsung has already integrated our software into their Galaxy Tab Iris. Multiple OEMs and ODMs are working with us in integrating this technology in their mobile devices. We should see at least three-four more devices in the next 12-month period,” added Salil.

The availability of iris integrated mobile device may end up being a turning point in the scaling up of Aadhaar use across many more applications in India.

Several reliability issues are encountered when fingerprint based solutions are used in remote areas with residents of various age groups and occupations. Iris is widely accepted as a more reliable modality. Iris being a protected organ doesn’t get affected by what people touch with their hands.

Unlike fingerprints, iris works for all age groups. Now, with the availability of iris in mobile phones and tablets, we expect these limitations will be addressed.

Eventually leading to more government and private sector services adopting Aadhaar, and greater demand for iris integrated mobile devices, he said.

On being questioned about the option available to the users, to choose either fingerprint or iris authentication for Aadhaar authentication. He added, “As of now only iris integrated mobile devices have been certified for use with Aadhaar. The fingerprint sensors in the current smartphones do not meet UIDAI specs, hence there are no fingerprint integrated mobile devices that are Aadhaar certified. Delta ID’s ActiveIRIS technology is not only more convenient and reliable, but also cheaper than fingerprint alternative.”

Rahul Matthan, a partner at Trilegal, said as more people will start adopting iris technology other companies might also come up with similar technologies but the standard need to be set quite high.“Iris is a very powerful biometric identifier. The most interesting application of the iris-enabled smartphones will be in banking. It could make banking transactions, which are linked to Aadhaar, very easy,” he said.

The company aims to roll out its software integrated phones within the next 12-18 months, which will be operator assisted initially but eventually, will also allow self-authentication.